Monday, January 31, 2011

Seeing Double

Today's drawing is sort of a before and after look. The first version of this comic page is coloured directly from a pencil drawing with some black lines added in photoshop to give it a bit of pop. Originally I had thought about doing an entire comic like this. There are some things I like about it such as the shape of the castle and the girls face, but a lot of it feels too rough even for me.

The second version is inked and shaded. All the same colours are used in both versions, with the shading of the pencil of the first one working in place of the colour shading of the second. Honestly I like both for different reasons and dislike them for some of the same reasons. If that makes any sense. Either way, there's a sense of what happens to a drawing when you start putting ink on it. There are a lot of things that you can't do with a pen that you can with a pencil.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's funny how characters can stay with you forever. Blenia and Alexander have been with me for about 12 years now, existed in two full (bad) novels, a good 80 pages of a graphic novel and many false starts at other stories.

Like best friends, they've been with me through good times and bad, distracting me when I should be doing other things, and encouraging me to return to writing and drawing after long periods of not being able to do either. Sometimes I feel as though they hold me back from doing new things, but other times they are the only reason I keep going.

I recently found a bunch of my old writing. Within the mound of loose leaf and half blank scribblers I found one of the first attempts I had made at writing about Len and Alex. They were so different back then. So innocent. That's what I've been trying to capture with the character drawings I've been doing lately. I've made Len and Alex young again. Returned some of their playfulness, and allowed Alex to smile.

Although lately I've been writing stories that don't revolve around these characters, I feel better knowing their around.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Abandoned Church

Not a new sketch today but one I did in 2007 when I was in Scotland. Aberdeen to be exact. They have some of the most beautiful architecture there some of it thousands of years old. All that was left of this church was the tower. The rest had fallen in or had been knocked down and turned into a parking lot. The rest isn't being protected by a heritage society since there are way too many old buildings and not enough funding to protect them all. This church was deemed to be one that didn't have enough history behind it to even have some sort of sign put up to tell the curious anything about it.

As I sketched this in the park across a river from the church, a man sat on the bench beside me. Not unusual since Scotland in general seemed to have a lack of seating during the summer months. The fact that I found anywhere to sit at all was pretty amazing. While I sketched, I could feel him peaking over my shoulder, as will happen to anyone brave enough to draw outside. When I was about to set down my pencil, he leans over and says, "You draw often."

It wasn't a question. I smile at him and nod.

"I try."

I'm always modest when it comes to my art. I'm well aware of the many many people who have much more talent than I do. It's not that I don't think I'm worthy, or something, I just know that I have a lot of room for improvement. Not an original thought from an artist, I know, but a necessary one if the artist has any interest in being the best they can be.

"No," he says. "You can draw."

And then he stands up and walks away.

I smile and close my book. I may not be the best. I will probably never be the best. But I can draw and I will continue to draw often.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Coloured Friday

I realised today when I attempted to draw that I don't have any sketchbooks. I think I had some, but I have no idea where they went. They probably ran way for fear of having their pristine pages ruined. Do you know how long it took them to get their pages that white? And what was I planning on doing but rubbing graphite all over them. That stuff never comes out.

Anyway, this drawing was done on a pad of paper I found that I hate. It's just a little too big for my liking and using ink on it is like drawing with water on paper towel. I'll probably have to replace my ink before I try using that pen again. Some how I finished without crumpling the paper up in rage, but I ended up buying a new sketchbook so that I won't ever have to deal with that again. At least until the others come back to liberate the new prisoner, er sketchbook.

She looks a little more crazy than I intended. She's supposed to be a troublemaker that's devising a plan. And while she's from a new story I've been playing around with, the fact that she looks a lot like Len is intentional.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Quick Sketches

Since I haven't been doing any comics lately, I think it's time to put up a couple of quick sketches.

I did this sketch a few days ago at the museum during a free drawing session for the public. It was pretty fun, and I got to draw with my mom, which is always neat since she has such an interesting style. This is based off a photograph currently being shown at the gallery and is drawn with a regular mechanical pencil. (I got chastised for that, though the woman leading the session had to admit I managed to get more depth in the shading than she expected)

I was attempting to work without using lines and focus more on lights and shadows. Parts of it I succeeded I think. Lighting is something that I really want to work on in the future.

This second sketch is not by me at all but by my friend Brenda. That's Len from Never--the story that never finished--and her character Sandra from In the Air. Poor innocent Sandra is being corrupted. I love this picture! She did this for me during Fan Expo '10 to cheer me up during a particularly hard stretch. Definitely succeeded.